When people used to tell me, "Get the sleep you can now because you'll never sleep again," I laughed. I now know the kind of fatigue I battle on a daily basis is nothing like the days after late nights at work or cramming for tests in college. I'd also hear about "mom brain" and how formerly brilliant women have been rendered useless by the theory that pregnancy feeds off brain cells. I thought that was a myth too until I found myself significantly dumber than before.
Thinking back I kind of hate these people. They were so eager to dish out unsolicited advice with a snarky, know-it-all smile, only to leave me and my husband with vague, useless impressions, wondering what "You'll see," means. Had any of these parents detailed their experiences perhaps I would've been more prepared, possibly added a large day planner and a few months supply of coffee to our registry.
Maybe another moment or two of their time would've allowed them to tell me that...
Things won't make sense and you're always going to have conversations with your spouse as if the two of you are drunk.
Having a kid is kind of like living in a fun house and if there are crayons in your bed or a slipper in the toilet, you will shrug it off and somehow think its okay.
Your husband will ask you what the color of something is and you'll reply "turtle." You won't know how the word came out of your mouth because you're so tired you can't feel your lips, yet are awake enough to know the object in question wasn't even green.
There will be french fries in a cup in the bathroom and a spatula in the hamper. You will get angry at the discovery of these things until you find a box of contact lens you've been looking for and have to thank your child for emptying everything out of your makeup drawer.
You will undress at night to find enough food under your shirt to feed a small army and feel ashamed as you pick some smushed peach off your chest and eat it.
You will constantly lose your keys and cell phone and try to retrieve your steps only to have your thoughts overcome by a Fresh Beats Band song. This will strangely lead you to find said items in places you know you'd never leave them, like on top of the trash or behind the toilet. Somehow you will say "oh yeah" when finding them.
You will never be on time for anything ever again. Minutes will slip by and you will know there is bag packing, sippy cup filling, and wrestling of the child into the car seat standing between you and your destination.
You will be amazed at the amount of excess sweat you have at any given moment from picking up, cleaning up, pushing, carrying, squatting, and running. Thoughts will follow of being way too out of shape for this job and frustration that this free workout doesn't result in any true weight loss.
You will put on a shirt fresh from the laundry and later pull out a bib at work.
You will clean a mess and turn around to find another one as disorganization and filth multiply like city rats.
You will foolishly feel accomplished when you put out one fire, too tired to remember you will be back there tomorrow for another.
You will be caught between caring about your appearance and completely giving up.
You will understand why parents "let themselves go" and see the convienience of sweat pants and mom jeans.
You will trade in your Coach bag for a back pack, your jeep for a station wagon, and anything else you once loved because they require more energy to have with a toddler and you just want something easy.
You will minamilize your possessions to make room for your child's, noting the irony of how a person so small requires so much merchandise to be tamed.
You will understand the term "yes dear" was coined by a tired parent.
You will wake up each morning and quickly calculate the hours until your child is back in bed.
You will understand why parenthood sucks sometimes. That it is harder than anything you have ever done because you will function daily with two major handicaps: lack of energy and mental disorganization.
You will accept this new life because you know your child is your entire world. And when you encounter new or soon-to-be parents, you will think of all of these things when they ask for advice and be too tired to detail it all. Instead you will give them a wry smile, know all what they are in for but only have energy to say, "You'll see."